Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Big butts - the side effects of Colombian cuisine

The past weeks in Cartagena have been jam-packed with new sensations. I am learning more Spanish everyday (have gone through all forms of verb conjugations and am now in the phase of complete and utter confusion about which tense to use), I am making friends and soaking up as much of Colombian culture as I possibly can. Of course I have tasted lots and lots of food by now. The streets here are filled with the sound of music and scents of great food. Food is certainly taken seriously here. They like it big here in Colombia. Everything, including butts (they sell push up panties to make butts look bigger!) and bellies (Colombian men drink too much beer). While I lost weight when I was living in Indonesia, I will really have to pay attention not to gain too much weight here. The diet consist mostly of carbohydrates and is very greasy. The frightening part is that it's very tasty...

Who wants lobster for lunch?
For breakfast many people here (as in Indonesia) eat fried salty snacks (Ieeugh!) with a cup of very sweet black coffee on the side. I still go for  the sweet option; yoghurt or a caffe con leche with cake. 

Sweet coffee with milk and cake
Lunch is a huge meal, often including a soup, a main course consisting of meat or fish and something sweet for desert, and often a drink. Besides meat and rice, you will find (often fried) platano (tropical banana) and potatoes on your plate here. Tasty and very filling. For about 3 euros you'll be full and ready for a siesta.

Mote de queso - cheese soup made with cheese from the coast
Fish with coconut rice and platano
Three course lunch for 3 euros
If you are hungry again in the afternoon (dinner is often eaten quite late - for Dutch standards at least), you can go for an arepa: mais dough filled with meat and eggs, which is briefly fried (see picture below). The best arepas of Cartagena can be found at Dora's on Calle Tumbamuertos, in between my language school and Casa Nativa (my second home here). My friend Sara hypothesized that there may be a relation between breast size and the amount of arepas women eat. Now we shout out 'Arepas!' when we see a fine rack passing us by.

With all this food, it surprises me that not more people are obese here. Vegetables do not seem to have priority here.  I'll keep you posted on the state of my weight and arteries - if I'm not too busy eating, that is.

Bollo de mazorca - maisdough with local (very salty) cheese
Arepa filled with egg and meat


erik said...

mais dough filled with meat and eggs

shouldnt that be
corn dough filled with meat and eggs

Miriam said...

Can you take another quest on your journey? The quest of vegetarian-proof contries you've traveled to? I would love to know what I can expect to eat there, when I come and visit you (since you probably won't ever be coming back :) )